“Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means ‘son of Timaeus’), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'”—Mark 10:46-52, NIV
As a new year dawns, I have put up all the Christmas decorations and returned my home to some degree of normalcy. But now I am faced with a dilemma that seems to occur every year. This year, as in the past, I have received Christmas gifts that I either have no use for, or actually don’t know how to use at all. They will wind up on a shelf, or in a drawer, or stored in the attic. I don’t want to throw them out, since they are new, and they were lovingly, carefully and thoughtfully selected. But I can’t think of any practical way to use them.
I wonder if God ever feels that way about what we give to Him? Does He sit in Heaven and wonder: “How am I going to use her leftover time? His spare change? Their lukewarm commitment?” Then it occurs to me that many people must also be looking at His Gift and wondering how to best “use” Him. The following Bible study reveals how practical God’s Gift is … every day. Feel free to use Him as much as you want.
READ MARK 10:46-52
From this passage write a description of Bartimaeus. For example:
- He was blind, meaning he probably felt lonely … what else?
- He was sitting on the roadside, meaning he was an outcast … what else?
- He was begging, meaning he had financial needs … what else?
- How do you relate to Bartimaeus, or whom do you know who might relate to him?
I. JESUS HEARS YOUR CRY
Do you think Jesus knew that Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside?
Do you think Jesus would have stopped to help if Bartimaeus had not cried out to Him?
Describe a similar scene to those in Mark 6:47-50 and Luke 24:28-29. What does this teach you?
List phrases from the following verses that might encourage you to cry out: Genesis 21:17-18; Exodus 3:7-10; 1 Samuel 9:16; 2 Samuel 22:7-20; 1 Kings 17:17-24; Psalm 6:9, 34:15-18, 55:16-17, 116:1-2, 145:17-19; Romans 8:15-16.
What was Bartimaeus’ cry?
How was he discouraged from crying out? How are you being discouraged from crying out, and who is trying to discourage you?
Would you open your heart and cry out to Jesus now? Jesus is “useful” as a listener.
II. JESUS HEEDS YOUR CALL
What two or more things did Jesus do in response to Bartimaeus’ cry?
Why do you think Jesus does not stop everything He is doing and answer your cry?
How does God describe Himself in Exodus 34:6? How is this description the basis of Nehemiah’s prayer in Nehemiah 9:5-37? List the phrases with verse numbers that include the word compassion or compassionate.
What encouragement do you receive from Isaiah 54:10? Matthew 9:36? 14:14? 15:32? 20:34? Mark 1:41? 2 Corinthians 1:3?
Once he knew that he had Jesus’ attention, what did Bartimaeus do? What do you need to “throw off” in order to experience the difference Jesus can make in your life? Read Hebrews 12:1, Luke 5:32, Acts 3:19, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:8-10.
Jesus is “useful” as a first responder.
III. JESUS HONORS YOUR CONFIDENCE
What did Jesus ask Bartimaeus? How did Bartimaeus answer Him?
What does this teach you about prayer that God answers?
What reason did Jesus give for making a difference in Bartimaeus’ life? List the same phrase Jesus uses in Matthew 9:27-30; Luke 7:1-10; Matthew 9:20-22, 15:21-28; Luke 17:11-19.
When you cry out to Jesus, what does He honor? Read Luke 17:5-6.
Does everyone who asks in faith receive exactly what they want, and if not, why? See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 and Hebrews 11:32-40.
Jesus is “useful” as a life-saver, heart-changer and eye-opener!
In these days of uncertainty and unrest that seem to be escalating on every front—with terrorist threats, political polarization, economic instability, environmental disasters and other stress points—would you take a moment just to thank God for His Gift? Would you thank Him right now for Jesus, His only Son, who died to be your Savior? Would you thank God for Jesus … who will hear your cry … who will heed your call … and who will honor your confidence?
And then would you choose to call out in faith and rely on Jesus … every day? He is the Gift that keeps on giving … forever!
©2011 Anne Graham Lotz